Use of Interseeding Grass Technology to Reduce Nitrate Concentration in New Seeding Grass Silage

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional + Producer
Funds awarded in 2003: $6,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Region: Western
State: Washington
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Joe Harrison
Washington State University


  • Agronomic: general hay and forage crops, grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Animals: bovine


  • Animal Production: pasture fertility, pasture renovation, feed/forage
  • Crop Production: conservation tillage
  • Education and Training: demonstration, farmer to farmer
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, feasibility study, agricultural finance
  • Soil Management: green manures, soil analysis

    Proposal abstract:

    This project seeks to determine whether interseeding grass can be an option to reseeding grass as a way to reduce tillage and the nitrate content of grass silage. Reseeding involves tilling under the current crop or tilling up sod that has roots and stems remaining after harvest and then planting a new crop. Interseeding, on the other hand, adds new seed to an established crop. Veenhuizen Farm currently reseeds its grass every five to seven years to maintain quality and high yields. However, data from another dairy suggest reseeded grass silage tends to have higher nitrates, which can make ration balancing difficult, cause health problems and reduce milk production. Working with nutrient management specialist Joe Harrison, the Veenhuizen Farm will test interseeding on 10 acres, followed by forage and economic analysis and comparison with reseeded plots.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.